Take Five: Juliet Marillier and Raven Flight (Plus: Giveaway!)

Raven_2We’re thrilled to introduce you to WU contributor Juliet Marillier‘s newest book today, Raven Flight–the second book in her three-book Shadowfell series for young adults. If you’ve never read one of Juliet’s books, please do yourself a favor and pick up one or half a dozen of them ASAP. Juliet is a master wordsmith and world-builder, with characters you come to understand intimately and plots you’ll care about.

We’re also glad to announce that Juliet will be giving one signed copy of Raven Flight to one WU commenter–no mailing restrictions. Winner will be chosen in one week via a random number generator, and contacted via email for shipping address. Enjoy!

Q: What’s the premise of your new book?

Juliet: RAVEN FLIGHT is a sequel to my YA novel, SHADOWFELL, a story of young rebels attempting to topple a repressive ruler and restore their country of Alban to peace and freedom. Magic is outlawed in King Keldec’s realm, but if fifteen year old Neryn can evade capture and learn to use her canny gift as a Caller, she may be able to draw human and fey forces together to challenge the tyrant. In RAVEN FLIGHT Neryn travels out from the rebel base at Shadowfell, accompanied with some reluctance by the warrior Tali. Neryn must find the Guardians of Alban, elemental beings from ancient legend. Only they can teach her what she needs to know before the rebels run out of time. But the Guardians may not want to be found.

Q: What would you like people to know about the story itself?

Juliet:  RAVEN FLIGHT follows Neryn and Tali as they make their journey across Alban (an imagined version of ancient Scotland) while trying to keep one step ahead of the King’s Enforcers. The Good Folk, Alban’s fey inhabitants, are sometimes cooperative, sometimes hostile. Neryn and Tali have little in common, and their relationship is tested severely by the hardships of the journey. Meanwhile the rebels’ spy at court, Flint, finds himself under suspicion. Events reach a climax at the king’s midsummer Gathering, where the depths of Keldec’s cruelty are publicly revealed.

Q: What do your characters have to overcome in this story? What challenge do you set before them?

As the lone traveler approached, the five Enforcers spread out in a line across his path. They waited in silence, a team of dark-cloaked warriors in full combat gear, astride their tall black horses…” Read an excerpt of Juliet’s novel HERE.

Juliet:  My characters face huge physical challenges (how about being dumped on a rock off the Scottish coast with no food or fresh water?) and equally severe psychological tests. In particular, the SHADOWFELL books deal with issues of conscience. Is it ever OK to do things you know are wrong in order to serve the greater good? For a rebel spy like Flint, who has worked his way into the king’s trust over several years, maintaining his cover means he has to act in ways he knows are wrong. How much of that can a person take without being permanently damaged? How long can a person carry such a burden without cracking?

Q: What unique challenges did this book pose for you, if any?

Juliet: The dialect! My cast of fey characters (the Good Folk of Scottish folklore) all speak Scots dialect, and I had to get it consistent through the books of the series. I complicated things for myself by using three levels of Scots (broad, middling and light) and then had to check every fey character’s speech individually to make sure I’d got it right. There might still be a bittie error or twa. But it was great fun to do, especially as Scotland is my ancestral stamping ground.

Q: What has been the most rewarding aspect of having written this book?

Juliet: Creating a story that I know will work just as well for adult readers as for young adults. While the main protagonists are young – Neryn is 15 at the start of SHADOWFELL, Tali is a couple of years older, and Flint and rebel leader Regan are in their early twenties – the story is relevant to older readers, and the writing is very much in the same mode as my novels for adults. And I loved tackling the theme of moral choices, and how hard it is to stay true to a cause when it means you lose almost everything, including your faith in yourself.

Readers, you can learn more about Juliet and her latest release on her website, and by following her fan page on Facebook.

Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of Raven Flight!



Writer Unboxed began as a collaboration between aspiring novelists Therese Walsh and Kathleen Bolton in January, 2006. Since then the site has grown to include ~40 regular contributors--including bestselling authors and industry leaders--and frequent guests. You can follow Writer Unboxed on Twitter, or join our thriving Facebook community.


  1. Katie Becker says

    A new Uni semester is about to begin and a new Juliet Marillier book…I know which one I prefer!

  2. Michelle says

    I have loved every single one of Juliet’s books, adult and young adult alike. I’m really looking forward to reading this one!

  3. says

    Juliet Marillier is a favourite author of mine. I have read every book she has ever written and I have loved them all. The only thing I don’t like is the wait between books! Do yourself a favour and read her books- I started with “Daughter of the Forest” from the Sevenwaters series and it has remained a favourite.

  4. Sarah says

    I love Juliet’s books! I have read them all and am never disappointed. I cannot wait for the rest of this series!

  5. Beatriz Gaspar says

    Juliet is my favorite author! I didn’t know when I bought Shadowfell that it was a trilogy, and when I finished the book (read in 24hours) I was anxious for the rest of the story. Another excellent world created… Congrats

  6. Barbara says

    I have read and loved all of her books. Only this one to go :)
    She is a brilliant storyteller.

  7. Kelsi says

    The Sevenwaters books changed my life at a time when I was deeply in need of some female heroes. Now I’m grown up, but I still love female heroes! I really enjoyed Shadowfell and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of Raven Flight.

  8. says

    I always love Ms Marillier’s books, and am so excited to read this one. I love the depth of the characters, the beautiful yet exciting storylines, the wonderful history and world-building…. *sigh* And I love the tackling of moral choices in this one. Very challenging for an author to do well, but so great when it is done well!

    I’ll be buying this book quick-smart anyway, but would love to win this just to be able to get a signed copy. :)

    Thanks for hosting and providing the giveaway!

  9. sue knight says

    Not one of her books has disappointed me. Maybe its my Pringle/Melrose/Howie ancestry!

  10. Rita says

    I’ve been waiting for so long for this book, I can’t believe it’s here! I want to grab it and never let go!

  11. Ines Martins says

    Juliet is one of my favourite writers ever. Her books got me to write, her fantasy enchanted me. I want to accompany her through all her work.

  12. amber says

    Can’t wait to read this book! I loved Shadowfell and have read every one of the Sevenwaters trilogy multiple times.

  13. Michelle Mravunac says

    Juliet Marillier is one of my favourite authors. I have read all of her books, and am so excited this one is out as I just finished Shadowfell! I can’t wait to follow Neryn’s journey. Great character!
    Thanks Juliet for your beautiful writing xx

  14. says

    I always look forward to each story Ms. Marillier put out. I am never disappointed! Excellent storyteller, that is what she is!

  15. Beatriz says

    I have only discover Juliet Marillier’s books about an year ago and since then i have read almost all of her books and she has become my favourite writer.
    I can’t wait to read Raven Flight!

  16. Mascha says

    I’m really impressed by Juliet’s work ethic. She’s usually got so many projects going at once, planning one book while writing another while editing yet another…I wish I was that diligent!

  17. Eileen Dandashi says

    I enjoy young adult books. And when they include some fantasy and adventure, they are sure to please. I haven’t read any of Juliet Marillier’s books although this review sounds like she should be on list of authors to try. I have always loved fantasy — from Superman, to Dr. Smith, to Star Trek, to Star Wars and recently I have been reading Amanda Quick and Christine Feehan’s books. Thank you for sharing this interview with me.

  18. Victoria says

    Loved this book! Devoured in a day! Just read her update on FB and the next one won’t be out until next year for the US. I feel like flying over to Australia just to get my hands on it!

  19. Brittany says

    I love Ms. Marillier’s work; she is utterly amazing and has been my favorite author for ten years now. Now to wait for

  20. Diana says

    Looking forward to reading Raven Flight! Nothing more exciting than a new Juliet Marillier book to read. :)

  21. Johanna says

    I am tremendously thrilled about this book and can not wait to read it.

    Every time I read one of your books, I do pray for a whole lot of more stories to come from you.

    Please keep up your work (if you are able to), I need you!

  22. says

    I fell in love with Ms. Marillier’s writing ten years ago and have loved every book of hers since! I love the worlds Ms. Marillier creates and I can’t wait to read Raven’s Flight!

  23. Sara says

    Juliet is my favorite author! I have almost every book of hers in my library, cant wait to add to the collection!

  24. Andrea Gibb says

    I am a huge fan of all Juliet’s work. I can’t wait for the second Shadowfell book :)

  25. Sarah says

    I have loved all of Juliet’s books and always wait eagerly for the next one to be published. I am particularly moved by how each book constructs a clear understanding of the human place in the natural world and a deep sense of the sacredness of it.

  26. Roni says

    Though it was heartbreaking when the Sevenwaters series came to an end , Juliet Marillier had created a new genre of mythic fantasy and every year from the start of Sorcha’s journey to Neryn’s she has never failed her readers . I have read all her writings including the short stories and I am certain Raven Flight will enthrall me like the others did . Thank you JM for your books ..

  27. Sarah says

    I always enjoy Marillier’s books! Her most recent YA book (Shadowfell) was fantastic… I anticipate every book she releases.

  28. says

    Thank you for always doing an interview with Juliet about one of her new books! I always do enjoy those very much (both the interview and the novels, btw).

  29. says

    Just wanted to pop in and tell you how much I’m looking forward to continuing Neryn’s journey, Juliet! Read book one on holiday in northern Michigan last year, and will be reading this one up there as well. Cheers!

  30. Gillian says

    Juliet Marillier has been one of my favourite authors since I read the Daughter of the Forest. She captures to essence of mythology and story so beautifully. I cannot wait to read Raven flight – a book I’ve been eagerly watching out for!

  31. Rita says

    I love Marillier’s books!!! I read all her books published here in Portugal and I already had the pleasure to meet her when she came to Lisbon!! So, soooo good :D